As a full-service photography studio, it is our job to act as blank canvas for photographers, talent, and the many people who work on set to bring their collective vision to life. With countless creative professionals from around the world passing through our doors, we have developed a story of our own. By supplying tools, space, and support, we act as a catalyst for creativity – a petri-dish for projects of all sizes.
To tell our story, we enlisted the help of photographer and art director Paul Jung, who worked with our Creative Team to produce a stunning photo series featuring dancers Samuel Lee Roberts and Jacquelin Harris juxtaposed with pieces of photography equipment – all in Jung’s signature minimalist style.
The shoot took place at our BKN location and was produced in-house as part of our 2017 ad campaign, which will be featured online and in print.
Paul Jung’s past collaborations include Apple, BMW, Land Rover, and Nike, among others.
We sat down with Jung to discuss working with ROOT and the inspiration behind the collaboration.
What inspired you to mix something rigid like photography equipment with the fluidity of the dancers? Or do you think they are not so contrasting?
“When we first talked about this project, I thought that if we are speaking about what photography and ROOT studios is about, then it’s not just the content, but also the support around the shoot,” says Jung. “So even the smallest details can be considered just as important. I think it was great to see [the equipment] on the same plane and importance as the dancers. They all become, lets say, a part of a set of brushes for an artist to use together.”
You were born in Taiwan, grew up in Australia, studied in Italy, and lived in China. How has experiencing all those cultures and environments influenced you as a person outside of your work and what perspectives its given you?
“It definitely gave me an outside perspective. Just always being an outsider wherever I was, I learned there isn’t an objective way of seeing anything. There are no absolutes, there is no right or wrong, because it all gets tipped upside down when you go to a new place.”
What inspired you to mix something rigid like photography equipment with the fluidity of the dancers?
“I think the rigidity of the human body can be very interesting, especially when compared to the softness of some of the equipment.”
What are the differences between shooting traditional athletes compared to dancers?
“I think athletes are working towards very specific events and outcomes and push themselves to the absolute extreme limits of humans in general. Whereas dancers and performers often times live consistently at a certain level, so they are perhaps less precious about reaching that extreme and they don’t fear it. They aren’t necessarily saving themselves for a certain moment. Not to say one is better than the other, but I think you can work with dancers for a longer period.”
Was incorporating nudity something you knew you wanted to include or did it occur to you on the spot?
“It was something I thought of on the spot. It just made sense. A lot of times I think it’s about reducing the elements to focus on the important content. In that way it’s like sculpting, removing the elements layer by layer, until we have really the essential core.”
Photography: Paul Jung
Make-Up and Hair: Lizzie Arneson
Styling: Jordan Mixon
Prop Styling: Sonia Rentsch
Talent: Samuel Lee Roberts and Jacqueline Harris
Produced by ROOT Creative: Riley Eggers, Peggy Gertner and Leo Veiga